Here at Food Network, we’re already swooning in anticipation of July 4th cookout fare — a meeting of spicy, sweet, smoky and zesty flavors swirling together on one picnic plate. If you’ve already gotten a head start planning your menu, you’ve likely encountered a ton of “barbecue” recipes during your search. But before you go any further, we think it’s time to clear up some confusion: What is barbecue? And how does it differ from grilling?
There’s no denying that slow-cooked meats doused in barbecue sauce have a way of tugging at our heartstrings. It’s simply too difficult to resist the beckoning aroma of juicy ribs, pulled pork and smoked brisket wafting through the air. But the love turns sour when suddenly we find said meats tugging at the seams of our clothes. The solution? Don’t resist it. You don’t need to, because with a few simple modifications, you can turn your barbecue favorites into lean and wholesome meals. Besides, these are the final weeks of summer; we should be enjoying as many outdoor feasts as we can. Follow these five simple tips for preparing mouthwatering barbecue with the same bold flavors you’re used to, but with less sugar and fat.
1. Go lean.
When shopping for your barbecue, choosing a cut of meat with less fat doesn’t automatically equal less flavor. Exhibit A: Food Network Kitchen’s Pulled Pork (pictured at top) simmered in a tangy vinegar-molasses sauce. Although the fatty shoulder is the most-common cut used in a classic pulled pork recipe, the lean tenderloin yields a sandwich that’s just as succulent.
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